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VOL. 41 | NO. 17 | Friday, April 28, 2017

Lack of inventory leaves buyers fighting for scraps

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There are more than 200 businesses planning to relocate to or expand existing operations in the Nashville pipeline, says Ralph Schulz, CEO and president of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Furthermore, the population of the city is expanding by a net of 74 residents each day, he says, conceding the 100 number often cited does not reflect those leaving. And some people do, in fact, leave.

The real estate market, as we all know, is ablaze with the influx of people.

But what many fail to realize is how heartbreaking a home search in this market can be. There also are logistical nightmares caused by a market filled with buyers facing a depleted inventory.

Many approach the city having sold their home elsewhere and feeling confident that their swollen bank accounts will provide housing and investment income for the future. It takes very little time for those plans to be scrapped. Suddenly finding shelter – not home ownership but a shelter – is a challenge.

Not only has the market been ravaged, but the rental market is even worse. Homes are snapped up sight unseen off of Craigslist and other rental sites.

To recap, a family has sold a home in a faraway land, or even in town, and they plan to buy a home, but there are no homes, so they have to rent, but there are no rentals. What the heck, they decide to rough it and stay in a hotel until something becomes available, rental or purchase.

Strike three: No rooms in our inns.

So now what? If they stay in Gallatin or Smyrna, there might be some availability. Donning a happy face for the children and describing this ordeal as a fun adventure, the family finds accommodations in a neighboring county.

Then they meet the beast.

The ride out to the hotel required only 15 minutes of travel on the previous day at 3 p.m., so the family arises and allots an equal time for travel to work and schools in Green Hills the following day.

The first day at the new job and at the new schools finds them arriving an hour and a-half late.

The good news is they are quite familiar of every square inch of asphalt between Smyrna and Nashville and have read all the billboards and are familiar with the area’s eateries.

Having endured the traffic, they decide to buy whatever comes along at whatever price they can possibly afford, even if they have to pick up a few Uber passengers each evening.

They contact their agent, and the new search begins with the higher price. The only problem is that there is no inventory in that price range, either.

The family is distraught until finally the perfect home rears it beautiful head. Their agent suggests that they make the offer for $20,000 more than list price and close on a date convenient to the seller, even though it is 60 days away and the buyers are in a hotel in Smyrna.

Later that day, the listing agents alerts those making offers that she has received 18 offers and informs all of those with offers to return with the highest and best within 24 hours. The buyer’s agent suggests coming in at $22,000 more than the list price in order to beat those that are $20,000 over, and recommends increasing earnest money to $50,000 and that they purchase the home “as-is,” but with the right to inspect.

The buyer agrees, having felt the wrath of the children and the team at work for being tardy on the first day.

As they dine that night they begin to discuss the placement of the furniture and to dream of life in the new house. The phone rings. It is their agent. Confidently they answer the phone in order to absorb the good news.

Nope. They did not get the house. They ask why. The agent tells them the listing agent said their offer “wasn’t even close.” Welcome to Nashville. This is not fun.

Sale of the Week

There are vestiges of affordable housing in Nashville, and the house at 5117 Raywood Lane is an example of quality, safe housing with an affordable price tag. The seller had resided in the home since 1994 and, during his 23 years in the home, saw the price increase from $68,150 to the $172,000 that the house commanded last week.

With 1,263 square feet on .57 acres, the three-bedroom, one-bath home sold in one day on the market. The home was listed by Nancy King of Pilkerton Realtors, who brought a vast knowledge of commercial real estate into the wild world of residential brokerage, thereby sacrificing her nights and weekends.

King described the house as a “cottage style home with newly finished hardwood floors” on a level lot with mature trees. Built in 1959, the house is sound and the neighborhood – near Nolensville and Tusculum roads – is established.

Richard Courtney is a real estate agent with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at

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